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Match Report


Posted Sun 21 Aug 11 at 18:04 PM

Daggers Defeat Bantams

A first half strike from Jon Nurse gave the Daggers back-to-back away league wins for the first time in over two years, although the margin of victory at the Coral Windows Stadium on Saturday could, and maybe should, have been greater, writes Ricky Butler.

Nurse, who had been called up to the Barbadian squad last week, celebrated in style when he followed up to score after home goalkeeper Martin Hansen had pushed out a close range effort from Sam Williams in the 27th minute, but despite creating several other good chances, that proved to be the winner.

John Still's side showed two changes from the midweek win over Swindon - Williams replacing young striker Brian Woodall in attack with Abu Ogogo coming back from injury at right back in place of Richard Rose.

The Daggers were fast out of the blocks and almost grabbed the lead inside thirty seconds when Gavin Tomlin fired just wide from the edge of the area. But it was the Bantams who had the better of the early exchanges, aided by an uncertain start from visiting keeper Chris Lewington.

The young stopper almost gifted the hosts a fourth minute lead when he failed to hold a left wing cross from Liam Moore, but James Hanson saw his looping effort come back off the crossbar.

However, following words of encouragement from skipper Mark Arber, Lewington settled down and was quickly off his line to save at the feet of the dangerous Jack Compton.

But it was Still's side who soon began to create the better chances. Nurse headed wide from the edge of penalty area following a great dead ball delivery from Tomlin, while West Ham loaneee Oliver Lee then fired narrowly over the bar from distance soon after.

Medy Elito and Tomlin were linking well down the Daggers left and the two created a chance for Williams in the 17th minute, only for Hansen to deny him his first Daggers goal, although quiet how Tomlin failed to convert the rebound from only three yards out with the goal at his mercy is something only he will know.

It was all Daggers now and, after more good play from Elito and Tomlin, Lee saw an effort deflected just wide, but Bradford were always a danger on the break as Lewington did well to deny Hanson again, while a free kick from Robbie Threlfall was cleared away by Ogogo.

But it was the visitors who grabbed a deserved lead eighteen minutes before the break. Tomlin's corner from the left found Williams inside the penalty area and when his effort was pushed out by Hansen, Nurse reacted quickly to divert the loose ball into the net from six yards.

After being the better side for much of the first half the Daggers began the second period on the back foot. Ritchie Jones looped a shot over the bar within two minutes of the restart while Ross Hannah then brought a fine near post save from Lewington.

But Williams had a great chance to double the visitors advantage six minutes later after a mistake by the otherwise immaculate Guy Branston. The Bantams skipper misjudged a long ball over the top and Williams was briefly one-on-one with Hansen, but his finish lacked conviction and the Danish keeper was able to deny him.

Still brought Damian Scannell on for goal hero Nurse with eighteen minutes left, and the former Southend winger almost made an immediate impact. Elito burst clear down the left and when Hansen diverted his low cross into the path of the on-rushing substitute, only a superb goal-line clearance from Branston kept the score at 1-0.

The match then threatened to boil over as players from both sides were involved in an ugly altercation in the away penalty area, which saw referee Dan Webb brandish four yellow cards, but this served to merely fire up the home crowd.

It led to a late bombardment from Peter Jackson's side but the nearest they came to an equaliser was a snap shot from Hannah which brought a fine diving save from Lewington with ten minutes remaining.

Instead it was Still's men who should have sealed the points in injury time. Firstly Elito was denied by another block from the impressive Branson before late substitute Woodall then burst through only to see his effort saved by Hansen.

Attendance; 9, 594 (100 away)

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